More than the stuff of science fiction or the latest industry buzzword, artificial intelligence is rapidly changing the way we live and work. While to some AI may conjure dystopian visions of the future, in reality it has the power to unleash human potential and improve society.
At work, AI is already liberating people from repetitive tasks so they can focus on more important matters. The human brain is no match for a computer when it comes to crunching numbers or predictive analytics, but people have a massive strategic advantage over machines: the ability to think creatively and abstractly. In other words, AI is not here to replace, but rather to empower.
In the Paris Region, we’re proud to be a global pioneer in applied AI technologies, which is why we’re heading to CES in Las Vegas (January 8-11, 2019), crossing the Atlantic with 36 innovative startups and major corporate AI leaders, Air France-KLM, Dassault Systèmes and Total. Located at Eureka Park booth 50463, this “Innovation Delegation” will center around concrete applications for AI solutions in a variety of sectors, from health and transportation to aerospace and defense.
This year’s focus on AI is no coincidence. The Paris Region is pouring investment into startups and research labs to solidify the area’s strategic position in the field and attract newcomers. International companies are taking note of this rich ecosystem of 160,000 researchers, 1,200 R&D labs and more than 8,000 startups. Tech giants like Google, Facebook, Microsoft and IBM have already launched their own AI research hubs in the region.
The Paris Region is committed to supporting AI development and helping companies integrate solutions. Strategic initiatives like data-sharing, educational resources, corporate partnerships and even launching the first AI-specialized high school in France will ensure a growing talent pool and increased connections between AI providers and users. The implementation of an artificial intelligence “starter pack” aims to facilitate AI adoption by SMEs, providing them with personalized consulting, financial support and access to powerful algorithms and applications. Indeed, last year alone, the region provided €90 million in direct financial assistance and €1 billion in leverage to accelerate AI innovation in 6,000 companies.
Then there are major infrastructure projects like Digihall in Saclay, 11 miles outside of Paris. This massive, 650,000 sq. ft. complex will gather the best and brightest research minds and industrial players to activate the entire AI value chain. In parallel, the Grand Paris Express project, with its 72 new transit stations and 120 new miles of track, will ensure easy and fast connections to Paris and the surrounding suburbs.
In today’s increasingly interconnected world, the Paris Region also understands the importance of combining forces with international partners and has signed cooperation agreements with other AI hubs, most notably South Korea, Canada and Germany.
The ultimate goal of these substantial investments is simple: leverage AI to improve cities, health, transportation, work, entertainment and — ultimately — the human experience. We believe technology has the potential to change the world for good, and we’re proud to be a part of the AI revolution.